Michel Therrien confirmed a big rumor about the Montreal Canadiens
BY MARCO MARCH 7, 2023 (6:16 PM)
It's been a while since the Tricolore has had trouble attracting top-notch free agents.
Despite some nice moves over the years, including Alexander Radulov in 2016, Montreal is often used as leverage in negotiations to raise the stakes, while the player does not really intend to sign here.
In connection with this topic, Therrien was honest in confirming this very sad reality: elite autonomous players simply do not want to move to Montreal.
In his statement, the coach also mentioned the case of Steven Stamkos. In 2016, the Tricolore had met with the latter to make his for sale, but in the end, the captain simply decided to stay in Tampa Bay.
Basically, the Quebec coach is trying to explain that the Habs won't be able to take a shortcut like the Rangers, who got a Panarin who fell into their hands for free. I would add that they got Adam Fox, a Norris Trophy winner, for absolutely nothing.
There is, however, an important nuance to apply to what Therrien said.
Yes, in recent years, the club has had trouble signing good free agents. However, despite the presence of some good players, including an elite goalie like Carey Price, there wasn't much to celebrate in that lineup.
That's the good thing about the rebuild and the massive addition of young prospects to the roster. With the likes of Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Kirby Dach, Kaiden Guhle, Justin Barron, Arber Xhekaj, etc., the organization now has a very bright future.
Let's also add to this all the players already drafted by the organization, in addition to those who will join the 2023 draft, including several very high quality picks.
For a 28 year old veteran testing the market, for example, to see that a team has gone through a rebuild and is now loaded with quality talent, it can become very enticing to come here, knowing that the best is most likely to come.
To be honest, the Habs will have to figure out which free agents they want to add to their excellent young core, so as not to repeat the Maple Leafs' mistake with a John Tavares, who blew the organization's payroll.